Brewer’s Republic, near Acacia Park, gets at the necessities of a bar instead of trying to be quirky. Though bar isn’t the proper term—I would call this a taproom, since they only have whiskeys and canned wines apart from their huge selection of draft beers.
This place is small with brick walls and full windows that make the room feel wide during the day. It is almost like a sunroom, or an open garage: comfortable, familiar. There are old tap handles hanging from the tin-like ceiling, and the room is coated in soft light from orange glass lamps. It is a minimalist atmosphere—the use of light and what appears to be the original building create a comfortable and inviting environment without the flashiness of decoration a lot of other places depend on.
Another way this taproom differs from others is how they create more interaction between people at a table. Today, most bars are a combination of people chatting, being on their phones, and watching the televisions. At Brewer’s Republic, there is a cupboard filled with board games that patrons can bring to their table, which is a great way to get away from our screens, talk, and still have something to busy ourselves with when chatter goes idle.
In terms of beer, Brewer’s Republic has 22 taps as well as specialty bottles and craft cans. The taps rotate with new kegs from different breweries when they tap out or for special events on some Fridays. They feature more than just beers and breweries in Colorado, exploring flavors from breweries all around the country, including ones that aren’t common here.
An older couple that sat next to me at the bar talked about how excited they were Dogfish Brewery (based in Delaware) was being featured at the Brewer’s Taproom because it is hard to get one of their stouts in Colorado. They seemed to be regulars, and many others that came in during my visit knew the bartenders, had conversations, and joked around. It’s a place for enjoying yourself with others, which is what beer is all about.
Runaway IPA from Renegade: This was one of the first beers recommended when I said I wanted an IPA, and it didn’t disappoint. It has a light (but murky) caramel color, which is reflected in the palate. It’s a bit sweet at the front, despite the strong bitter aftertaste. The flavors are also clean; there is some citrus at first—grapefruit I think—but then it tastes the way pine smells. Sometimes IPAs are a bit too bitter for me, but the Runaway IPA blends that with a freshness I find overwhelmingly inviting.
World Wide Stout (2016 Imperial Stout) from Dogfish Head: This is the booziest beer I’ve had in my entire life, sitting at almost 17 percent alcohol by volume. However, it is also one of the sweetest stouts. It has a dark brown color, with beautiful coffee-like bubbles. There isn’t much of a smell to it, but the flavors are vibrant. I cringed on my first sip just because of how strong it tasted, but after a couple more sips, I began to figure out how it tasted. It is not like anything else I’ve tried, but the barley flavors are forward with a sort of savory-sweetness. It seems like an odd combination for a beer, but it works well with the coffee-bitterness afterwards. It reminds me of drinking Port wine in the consistency and impact of each sip.